Fun fact: I hate social media.
Before you start to say, "What is wrong with this girl? I couldn't live without my Twitter/Facebook/Instagram!" let me explain my reasoning.
1. Social media makes people anti-social.
How many times have you gone to dinner with a group of friends and you have all sat at the table looking at your phones?
"Wow! Look what Becky posted on Instagram." "My selfie has 35 likes!"
You literally have real people that you presumably care about in front if you, yet you're more consumed about how many likes you got on Facebook than making memories right in front of you.
2. Social media can make you unhappy.
Sarah is in Florida, posting pictures of white sand beaches and margaritas. Leah is backpacking through Europe and is checking in at amazing locations, like Vatican City, the Acropolis, and the Eiffel Tower.
And where are you? On your butt on the couch for the fourth day in a row watching a "Mariska Knows Best" Law and Order: SVU marathon. You're probably scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and seeing posts about everyone else's grand adventures.
Then you compare your (non)adventures to theirs and a feeling of intense self-depreciation descends upon you.
So you think they are "having fun" and you're not? You have watched a collective and impressive 47 hours of Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler. That is dedication.
I bet Sarah is lobster red and has a ridiculous tan line from when she fell asleep on the beach. Leah probably got pickpocketed while waiting in line for gelato in Rome. But they're sure not going to post that on social media.
3. Social media distracts from the present.
Have you ever missed the game-tying goal at a playoff game because you were too busy trying to take a picture of the bats flying around the stadium? Then you missed the winning goal because you were too busy tweeting about said bats?
Because I have.
Have you ever missed out on an inside joke in the making because you were glued to your phone, trying to pick the perfect filter for your latest Instagram, even though you're still going to "#nofilter" even though there obviously is one.
Have you ever noticed that you spend more time at a concert trying to get a clear picture of the artist than actually enjoying the music? That picture of Beyoncé is going to be grainy, she's two centimeters tall and the majority of your picture is other cellphones being held up in the air as other people try to do the same thing.
Look, I'm not saying all social media is bad, because it's not! Social media allows us to connect with people we would normally never interact with. It is a fantastic marketing tool. It helps us millennials keep up with current events. It can act as a tool of self-expression. There is even a multitude of social media accounts dedicated solely to cats. And that's all great!
However, when you become more concerned with what others are doing and how your life compares to theirs, then it becomes a problem. You can end up missing out on experiencing and genuinely enjoying life if you continue to do so.
So drink that pumpkin spice latte. But spend more time enjoying the deliciousness that is fall in a cup than worrying about getting the perfect filter for the eighth picture of the barista's misspelling of your name. (But seriously, how many different ways are there to spell Carrie? A lot actually, but still.)
A few weeks ago, I deleted all social media apps (excluding Pinterest -- how else am I supposed to figure out what to eat for dinner besides pasta?). Honestly, I think it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I find myself going hours without even thinking about my phone and the battery definitely lasts longer. But most importantly, I have noticed that I spend more time reading, enjoying the scenery on my walk to class, or just simply talking to my friends.
Sure, it has some downsides, like when I've found the funniest meme that I just have to share on Facebook with my friend studying abroad but I remember that I can't because I don't have instant access to Facebook anymore.
But in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? No.
I enjoyed the meme. That is what matters.
Fun fact: I hate social media.